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The Dutch church in Banda Neira

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The church in Banda Neira was established in the 1600’s to serve the residents of the Dutch colonial occupation of the remote Banda Islands . Behind the building can be seen the summit of the volcano named Gunung Api or Fire Mountain The original woo…

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Ten Tales Of Ternate & Tidore

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Several of SeaTrek’s cruises – Wallace Trails & Sails; Spice Routes/Spice Wars; Raja Ampat Adventure Cruise; Spice Traders to Bugis Shipbuilders – commence or conclude at the clove-perfumed island of Ternate.

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The Life-Giving Lontar Palm

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The lontar fan palm can be seen all over Indonesia, yet many of us are unfamiliar with it, mistaking it, perhaps, for the coconut palm. Its versatility is extraordinary. Its trunk, which can grow to 30 metres in height and to a thickness of about 90…

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Birds Of Paradise

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“Birds of paradise glisten like seldom glimpsed denizens of an Asiatic harem, who are clad in gold of many hues and dipped in the purple of dawn.”––Thomas Forrest, The Breadtree Fruit, 1784. No other bird family is as beautiful or as rich in diversit…

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Pearl Culture

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The magic secret of the pearl is a mystery of origins. Believed to reflect the soul of an oyster, a natural pearl is an accident of nature, formed when an irritant – such as a parasite or a piece of debris – causes the mollusc to secrete a fluid that…

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Subak – The Cultural Landscape of Bali

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Bali is renowned for the beauty of its sculpted rice terraces. These vibrant green plantings and layered mirrors unfold like giant stairways from the mountains to the sea. Known as ‘sawah’, the padi fields of Bali are a thousand years old, and achiev…

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In Search Of The Five Holy Springs

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It used to be called the “Lost Coast”, a string of fishing villages, collectively known as Amed – the start-point and finish-point for Seatrek’s Komodo cruises – on Bali’s eastern tip. Hugging a dramatic coastline of steep headlands, coves and coral…

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Sari Temple in Central Java

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One of the many highlights of our recent ‘Journey Across Java’ was a visit to the Candi Sari temple near Prambanan. It is quite unusual for Javanese temples as it also provided accomodation for the Buddhist monks and served as a monastery. The Sari t…

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Tenganan Village

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Hidden in the hills, 5km from Candidasa in East Bali, is a remarkable 700-year-old walled village called Tenganan, where the residents practice a time-honoured lifestyle based around ritual and ceremony. Tenganan is one of Bali’s original pre-Hindu s…

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A Day at the Races

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The rough narrow racetrack through the rice fields was lined with thousands of people; illegal betting was rife, and I had just escaped being trampled to death by a pair of magnificently decorated bull buffaloes. We were at Negara in West Bali, watch…

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Komodo’s Cockatoos

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When you’re visiting Komodo, make sure you’re not so busy looking for dragons that you miss out on observing some of the beautiful birdlife. A notable white-feathered resident of Komodo Island is the yellow-crested cockatoo (cacatua sulphurea) also k…

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In A Nutshell

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Visit the fabled Banda Islands on any one of SeaTrek’s spice cruises and at some point you will find yourself wandering through the beautiful and bountiful nutmeg forests, each one a vast orchard tucked beneath a towering old-growth canopy. The nutme…

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The Prettiest Flight

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If you’re lucky enough to be flying from Bali to Labuan Bajo for the start of SeaTrek’s ‘Dances, Dragons & Magical Lakes’ cruise, make sure you get a window seat and don’t even think about reading a book. Instead, sit back and relish one of the world…

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Pulau Kumba is erupting!

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Kumba Island lies in the Banda Sea of Eastern Indonesia and north of the island of Lembata. The island must be sitting over a hot spot in the earth’s mantle as it seems to have been active over many years. The sailing ship Vega stopped at Pulau Kumba…

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Flying Foxes

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At Satonda Island, off the north coast off Sumbawa, we witnessed an arcane sunset mission as hundreds of thousands of flying foxes emerged in a steady throng from the forest, reminiscent of a fleet of enemy aircraft intent on avoiding radar detection…

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Swimming with Giant Manta Rays

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One of the highlights of a SeaTrek Komodo trip is the opportunity to snorkel with giant manta rays at Karang Makassar or Manta Point, which despite – and because of – the strong currents, is one of the most interesting places in the Komodo National P…

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Komodo Dragon Trivia

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Komodo dragons, called ‘ora’ or ‘land crocodile’ by the locals, are the world’s largest living lizards. They can grow up to 3m long and weigh up to 100kg. Although the komodo can run briefly at speeds up to 20 kilometres per hour, its hunting strateg…

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The Funeral of a King

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Guests on our Textile Tour get to meet many Indonesian people wearing fabulous local costumes and ask us if this is what they wear every day. The answer is no – just like us they keep their best costume for special occasions for ceremonies. Fortunately for our guests, our visits during the Textile Tour count as a special occasion. The importance of textiles for ceremonial occasions was drummed into us on our latest visit to the island of Sumba.

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Video: Whale Hunters in Lamalera

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This is Lamalera, a village of 2,000 people and one of the last communities to hunt sperm whales in the traditional way, with harpoons and ropes. Once a year, when whales migrate past their shores, they head out in their small outrigger boats to try…

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Bali’s Secret Fleet: A Glittering Armada

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These could be the world’s most spectacular traditional fishing craft, but their home port is a remote estuary on the Indonesian island of Bali that few visitors ever see. ANMM research associate, Jeffrey Mellefont, unveils a boatbuilding tradition steeped in ritual, religion and magic.

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The Fabulous Flying Fox

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The sky rapidly changes to glowing golden hues and the sun sets on yet another incredible day at sea. You sit back on the top deck with your drink in hand and imagine that it just can’t get any better than this. Sure enough, it can and it does. Gazing towards the horizon you see fluttering activity, and soon enough that blazing sky is filled with graceful creatures taking wing. You can’t believe your eyes! It’s a sky full of giant fruit bats!

Festive Recipe : Tomato Sambal

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Festive Recipe Longtime Bali resident, Janet de Neefe, founder of the UWRF, writer, owner of Casa Luna Cooking School and two restaurants in Ubud delights us with a hot recipe, a traditional favorite of Indonesia, Sambal ! We hope this spices up your…

Raja Ampat Beauty

Raja Ampat: Heaven on Earth

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Small groups of uninhabited islands  rise abruptly from the sea to form a spectacular panorama of rugged karst cliffs that tower over tiny mushroom-shaped rocks dappled along crystal blue waters.  The wild jungle vegetation that clings to the rocks p…

Explore with Sea Trek

Live-Aboard Life

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Come seniors, come juniors, come honeymooners!   Whether it’s cruisin’, boozin, or just plain snoozin, there are plenty of ways to spend your time between activities onboard a Sea Trek Cruise.  All that snorkeling, trekking, village visits and beach…

Horses are a strong part of the Sumbanese culture.

Sumba Heart and Soul

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Still clinging tightly to its animist traditions, Sumba Island is a destination seductive to the soul.  Here are a just a few reasons why we find Sumba such a sensational destination. SUMBA- WHERE ANCIENT TRADITIONS RUN DEEP Hanging precariously off…

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Seasons Greetings from Seatrek

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We wish you a merry KARST-mas and a Happy 2014! Please forgive the play on words, but the pun was irresistible! Working a “karst” theme into this year-end blog provides a fantastic opportunity to stroll down a most magnificent memory lane, featuring…

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A Song of Fire and Spice

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“Please pass the pepper.”  It’s a common request we might hear anytime we sit down for a meal.  As with most of the everyday items we find in our spice cabinet, most of us take their aquisition and use for granted. However, the next time you add a da…

SeaTrek from the Sky

Sea Trek from the Sky

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There’s nothing to put things into a new perspective like taking to the air. On a recent flight from Bali to Labuhan Bajo, Flores, I was lucky enough to have both good weather and a window seat to shoot a fun ariel series. For those of you who have j…

Dive into 2013

Dive into 2013 with Sea Trek

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SELAMAT TAHUN BARU or HAPPY NEW YEAR to all of our Sea Trek friends and family!  Our trusty fleet and crew are now enjoying some well-earned rest in Bali after their safe return from Indonesia’s remotest islands. While the Ombak Putih and Katharina r…

SeaTrek Smiles Project

The Sea Trek Smiles Project

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Moments of beauty are everywhere.  It is the job of a photographer to capture those moments in a way that speaks the moment to others. I was trained as a painter, but  I turned to photography to fufill my artistic need while on the road.  Although th…